Reducing the use of alcohol and other drugs by high school students : high school students perceptions of the efficacy of various prevention approaches : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Social Policy at Massey University
This thesis investigates secondary school students' perceptions of the efficacy of approaches taken by five secondary schools and one community Youth group on Auckland's North Shore, to reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs by Young People. Participating schools and a Youth group were also asked about their policies and procedures with regard to the use of alcohol and other drugs. Over the past two years the use of alcohol and other drugs and the consequent behaviour of some Young People on the North Shore and elsewhere in New Zealand has attracted considerable negative public attention. Given the limited information on the efficacy of educational programmes on alcohol and other drugs in secondary schools this research seeks to make a contribution towards filling that gap. I have attempted to provide a snapshot, or case study of the current state of affairs with regard to some North Shore students' perceptions of the effectiveness of prevention programmes offered to them in the area of alcohol and other drugs education. An overview of the history of alcohol and other drugs education is followed by a review of the differing educative approaches directed towards combating the misuse of alcohol and other drugs by Young People. Theoretical perspectives and concepts within the field, ethical and political considerations, and current practices are also considered. The study concludes with research findings and comments on the efficacy of current programmes The methodology of this study is then described and the results of the research presented and discussed. The study concludes with a chapter which outlines recommendations which have arisen as a consequence of this study and includes suggestions, ideas and directions for future work. It is my intention, at a later stage, to provide a separate executive summary of the research which will include the approaches and findings of the research which will be specifically aimed at service providers and stakeholders.